…can get away with punishing his own people in an effort to strike at other nations.  Call it reverse PR.  I’m cutting off my nose to spite you, and it is going to hurt.  No wonder President Obama is not impressed with Putin’s latest move.  One wonders, however, how long the Russian people will put up with such a leader.  There is little doubt that Putin wants power for the long-run, and he is likely to get it, given his hardball tactics, but Russian citizens will grow restive.  It is like a return to the failed Soviet state.  This time, however, the country is weaker.  Sanctions are hurting its economy and Putin doesn’t care.  He is determined.  If only he were thinking about the welfare of Russia rather than his own power-base, he might be remembered in history as a great statesman.  Now, however, he is seen as a bully, an image that is likely to remain.  Putin proves that public relations principles do not work in every society.  

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